There is no doubt that India has been putting up a big foot when it comes to technologies like self driving cars, Tata Elxsi’s interest in testing a driverless car in India being a major proof. Now, this time again India has plans to be in the global race of building autonomous vehicles with the likes of Google, Uber and Tesla.
Three top schools with ingenious engineering minds have joined hands to build solutions in this space. Teams at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kanpur and Bombay, are working on ‘autonomous vehicle solutions’. If reports are to be believed, this project on driverless vehicle solutions is already drawing major interest from Indian automotive companies, the names of which are not yet disclosed due to confidentiality agreements. However, there have been reports of Mahindra, Continental showing an interest on this project.
The team is stressing on developing technologies which would suit Indian market and roads unlike global giants who have been testing technologies in the western market, which goes unsuited for Indian scenario. The institutes have already started building vehicles from the scratch at their campuses.
Reportedly for the Autonomous Ground Vehicle (AGV) project, each teams from the IITs would need to individually design a prototype vehicle using 3D laser sensor lidar. This technology is critical to any autonomous vehicles as it facilitates advanced road detection, one of the important features of these vehicles.
As encouraging as this development sounds, the teams have their own share of challenges lying ahead. Given the lack of adequate infrastructure for driverless vehicles at present in India, creating solutions in this field is the huge challenge. Government policies being the other one. However, there have been reports of federal government planning amendments to motor vehicle laws to boost up the testing of driverless vehicles on Indian roads.
Pumped up with motivation to make their experimentation a reality, the team believes that if the solution developed turns out to work successfully in India, it could work anywhere in the world.